Carol started a Transition to Retirement Income Stream in 2010 which has allowed her more time to follow her passions.
“I feel very lucky that I accumulated enough super so I can have a good life. I come across a lot of women who haven’t had that opportunity,” says Carol, a HESTA member of 20 years.
“I switched to HESTA from another fund after comparing investment performance.”
As a social worker, Carol has worked in a number of roles over her 30 year career including in disability, aged care and community rehabilitation.
“I chose social work because I had an interest in psychology, but it gave me a broader platform in terms of employment,” says Carol.
As a single mother, Carol took on additional work and extra jobs over the course of her career. “Being a single mother was hard but I also had a lot of time to accumulate super. I’m also not a big shopper so I never spent a lot of money,” says Carol.
Transitioning to retirement
Carol started a Transition to Retirement (TTR) Income Stream in 2010. This allowed Carol to draw down some of her super to supplement reduced work hours, “I went to China and Yemen and Bhutan. It allowed me to receive a decent amount week to week, but work less hours.”
“I didn’t really start to take much interest in my super until about 15 years ago,” says Carol. “Super was something I let happen in the background. In hindsight I wish I would take the time to understand it much better. Then I could have contributed extra into my super earlier and been more in control by attending education seminars.
Retirement is not something Carol thought about a lot during her working life. “I thought I would work longer, but my work restructured and it didn’t really work for me, so I decided to step back,” says Carol.
More time for life's passions
Since retiring, Carol has become an accredited mental health first aid instructor. “The course in mental health first aid was developed by a nurse who saw that there was first aid available for people suffering physical injuries, but not for those affected by mental health,” says Carol. “It’s been set up to train people how to notice and support people in the early stages and move them into places where they can get help and support.”
Carol is hoping to do some training with the volunteers at Orange Sky where she helps out every Wednesday morning.
Carol has recently travelled to Uzbekistan and spends her time doing Pilates, gardening, volunteering for beach cleaning and teaching literacy at her grandchildren’s school.
“I don’t really want to be retired, that’s why I took up the mental health first aid training,” says Carol. “But I am loving the greater sense of freedom and choice, as well as not having to get up at 5.30am every morning!”